Red Dirt Film Festival: What I’ve learned…so far…

Hello all!

Damon and I have been working nearly around the clock to pull this film festival together! We have had WAY too much fun and a lot of laughs but there have been a few stressful moments too I will admit. I think I may look a little like this:


 Actually, I look nothing like this…except the frazzled part.

Here are a few things I have learned so far:

  • Filmmakers amaze me.  Seriously.  They create stories that entertain, teach, lighten, and make me more aware.  I am in awe of them every day.  I have had the rare joy to talk to them all over the world and get a glimpse into their lives.  It is a special person with an innate talent to bring to life words on a page.
  • That I loathe bureaucracy.  I am a simple person who likes to just talk to the person in charge and line things up!  That’s why I’m here as a director of the festival…because I can get things planned, organized, and carried out!  I know that it’s not the 1950’s and I can’t just walk in and talk to my good friend in Mayberry who will help me and trust me to do my part but if I have to see one more form or talk to one more person who transfers me…well…you may hear me scream from here. (Luckily Damon is usually the one who handles such things!)

Man in red tape

  • That some people are born actors!  The list is long of amazing actors we have been fortunate to screen in the films!  Their talent is mind-blowing. Their directors are top-notch.  The end product of all of our films is a great collaborative effort of all involved.
  • I’ve learned a bit more what a producer does.  The only thing I knew before now was that they are listed in the credits right before the director.  (Pathetic lack of knowledge, I know!)  Now I see just how much they do!
  • That cinematography and great writing are what make me personally fall in love with a film.


  • That it is really FUN to get mail from all over the globe!  Every day new packages are coming my way from ALL SEVEN CONTINENTS! I didn’t even know that people lived in Antarctica until I watched the amazing documentary.
  • That I LOVE foreign films!  There is something beautiful and endearing about foreign films to me.  I have been missing out on this for years!

DHL Global Mail Tracking

  • Those people who make and love films are kind of in a club, albeit, a very nice club that welcomes new people all the time.  Among these are our beloved jurors who have screened a myriad of films and who we owe a huge THANK YOU!
  • That we couldn’t have done this without a lot of help. We have had an outpouring of help and support from the community of Stillwater, Oklahoma!  We started this with a dream and a prayer and though it’s a small festival in its first year I believe it will grow by leaps and bounds! So many kind people and volunteers have had our back and have granted us their help with kindness and excitement!  Okies ROCK!


  • That I love our charity event which supports local children.  Love. Love. Love.  Please get involved.  (Just a little note: There will be some fun things right before the Star Strut Charity Event which will involve Damon’s brother throwing a pie in Damon’s face and a chance to sign Damon’s body for a dollar!  Let’s cover him in fun colors of ink!


I could go on and on and on. I’m sure there will be a myriad of posts after the festival full of pictures and videos! We encourage everyone who attends to take pictures and short videos at the festival so we can make a video about the festival entire.  Send all pics/videos to us at

If you live nearby and want to see some amazing films from around the world…(some of them are premiering here and have never been seen by audiences before)…then come out to the Red Dirt Film Festival next weekend (October 25th and 26th) and join in the fun! Check out the website and order tickets in advance (they will be more expensive at the festival).

And as always, I hope you are all having a marvelous day!



Submit to us!!

red dirt croppedHello all!!

Things have been dark around here lately as we’ve been gearing up for the film festival! We’re SO happy that it’s happening, thanks to your support; we appreciate all those who donated, and for all the volunteers who’ve come forward.

We’ll soon have an official site set-up, linked to this blog through the film fest banner, but for now, we want to draw your attention to our new submission portal below this paragraph; please encourage every filmmaker you know to submit to us. Click it!

partner_boxWithoutabox logos are trademarks of Withoutabox, a DBA of Inc. or its affiliates

Why Wait?

1129Are you waiting for that next big thing? You already have it – so feel into it now! As you get into vibration with what it is you desire, you’ll not miss out on the here and NOW!

We here at ish are excited about FILMish and ish 2.0, which will be a major revamp of this site, which has been promised all spring. But despite our work towards that new future, there’s still more to share along the way before this format migrates to the upcoming ish Facebook page, and this site holds more substantial material to share with our community.

Too many times we as humans get so focused on the future, that we look back to realise the wasted past moments. It’s always good to remember Tolle’s teachings about the power of the present, and to never forget to apply it to our daily lives. I (Damon), have studied this concept for many years, but it wasn’t until early last month that it REALLY hit home for me to the point that I’m almost-always aware of the present reality as a child is, living away from fear, expectation, or negativity about the past (including my previous quip about regrets over wasted time 🙂 )

The ancient Greeks may’ve lived by the maxim, “Carpe Diem” (Seize the Day), but I encourage you to Seize the Moment (“Carpe Temporis Punctum”)!

So Happy-Friday-Summer everyone! It’s up to you to claim what’s good, HERE and NOW!!

Give it up for Ash Wednesday. 40 Days of Lent… Ready, GO!


Lent.  I didn’t grow up in a religion that practices it, but something about Lent appeals to me.  The idea of giving something up from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday proves to me that I CAN control myself, that I can sacrifice, that I am stronger my physical urges. There is something fresh about the whole thing.  (Perhaps I’ll only feel that way until this weekend when I’m suffering for my Lent choice. I’d better make it a good one.) 

As I have pondered the plethora of things that would be beneficial to my mind, my health, and my spirit to get rid of for the next 40 days, I noticed that it was starting to feel like I was making New Year’s Resolutions (something to which I am quite opposed). So I thought about it, and thought… and I decided to do something that will benefit all three; something that will be very difficult for me but something that I know will calm my mind, body, and spirit. I read up on Lent and got into the real spirit of the whole thing.

I’m going to give up a sort of obsession of mine…guilt. Guilt has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.  I am guilty of all manner of “atrocities” and I beat myself up over them daily (hourly is more accurate).

I am naturally prone to guilt to due a bit of perfectionism and OCD but I have to admit that it has become exhausting as of late.  I feel guilt about everything!  Are my children ok?  Am I doing enough?  Am I doing too much?  Did I workout today?  What did I eat? How clean is my house? I’d better get back to college asap. I forgot to dry that last load of laundry! My kids need a healthier snack. I really need to wash all of the windows. How much water have I had to drink?  I’d better floss because we all know flossing is the key to health. And on and on and on I go. I even feel guilty for relaxing these days!  It’s really gone past healthy. 

I have been a worrier all of my life and the guilt ties in nicely with said worry so I just adopted them both as a sort of package deal.  Well…I’m done!  For the next 40 days I will work on just enjoying my life.  I will work out when I can fit it in and when it sounds good, I will not berate myself for that last load of unfinished laundry or forgetting to return my library books on time. I will drink water when I think about it and my kids will probably have a few snacks that are less than healthy. But I’m not going to work myself up about these things, I am going to realize that this is life and it is messy and I’m doing my best. 

So, what are you giving up for Lent?  I hope it’s something that will resonate with you and bring you closer to who you really want to be.


You already ARE beautiful!

Hi peeps!  I was thinking today during my meditation and Pilates that I’m always trying to attain happiness and I work at feeling well every day.  I realize also as I watch all of the sickness around me lately during this cold/flu season how much our bodies and spirits are connected.  When one suffers, they both suffer.  For this reason I would suggest that we need to keep both in optimum health.  Easier said than done, I know.  Find what works for you and do it!  For some it is a rigid schedule of diet, exercise, and play.  For some it is the comfort of a hobby.  For others it is a good book as balm for the soul.  Find what makes you smile.  One of my greatest joys in life is music…nothing motivates or heals me quite the way music can.  So today on this awesome Monday I want to post this song that motivates me to be who I am, for although I am always working to be better, I am also great today! I am a work in progress. Today I feel this: “This is my life. My energy. My soul. And it’s beautiful. I know that it is.”


Hello! We are taking a poll…please help!

ImageHey everyone-Marisa here.  I haven’t typed a post in ages.  Damon and I have been busy working on some projects both in our own lives and through ish.  We are excited about some really fun and big events that are coming up!  We will fill you in soon with more details but I have a quick question for you.  We are going to be donating some of our proceeds to charity.  What is your favorite charity?  Why do you feel strongly about it and why do you think we should donate to it? We keep going around and around trying to decide so we are opening it up to you for help!  You can answer here or email us at

Thanks for your help!

Game on!

And….we’re back! *sort of*

We here at ish needed a temporary break, and while there are big plans in the works for facets of our services, we’ve decided to post as inspiration hits, rather than hewing to a rigid schedule. For now the radio show is also on the back-burner, but as there are other media projects coming up I wouldn’t be surprised to see it emerge much larger than before in the future!